In this blog for example I would like to focus on one particular topic I recently learnt about: namely the way suppliers of valves and actuators bring their product to market. Evidently this is not at all like food manufacturers who traditionally reach out to wholesalers and/or supermarket chains.
As my contact explained, valves and actuators are industrial or B2B products so end users tend to rely on suppliers that offer price/quality, service and some sort of (financial) continuity. Especially the larger companies want to minimize the risks involved, given the fact that they are more in the public (and legal) eye, should things go wrong due to faulty equipment.
Now in order to structure their procurement and sourcing process, many end user companies use so-called Preferred Vendor Lists or Approved Vendor Lists which feature suppliers and their respective product portfolios. By doing so, companies try ensure that all employees involved in procurement and sourcing are on the same page.
However, the problem with such lists is that they often are too static and can potentially become “stale”. For example, if a certain supplier has been bought by another supplier, the information on the acquired supplier might “shift” due to different manufacturing processes or changes in the work force.
Theoretically, end users could end up with products and/or services that might not meet their expectations. This in turn would lead to project delays or operational problems.
What could be a remedy? According to my highly knowledgeable contact (a Mechanical Consultant working for a major oil and gas company) spot checks are not enough. His advice? More regular visits to vendors to help ensure that Preferred Vendor Lists are indeed kept up-to-date.
I trust this blog will convey my growing fascination and even affection with the valve sector. It is an industry where I am looking to make a long-term, positive contribution to discussions between all parties.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, I’d like to start with a feature article on the pros and cons of Approved Vendor Lists in Valve World magazine. So if you are an end user or a supplier and would like to share your experiences with AMLs, then please do get in touch via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or phone 0031-654345665).